Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blog Tour: Q&A with author Kimberly Reid

Kimberly Reid
· Website
· Blog
· Facebook
· Twitter

Kimberly Reid Books
· My Own Worst Frenemy (2011)
· Creeping With The Enemy (2012)

How does writing differ from other jobs you've had in the past?
Writing is the only job I’ve had in which I have complete control. Once the manuscript leaves my laptop and goes off into the world, there is very little I can control about the publishing business, what readers think about the book, or whether the stars align in a way that makes my book a blockbuster (if only). But when I’m in front of the keyboard creating worlds, characters and stories, I run the show. Since I have a mild case of control-freak, writing is the perfect job for me– that and the fact I get paid to make stuff up. I’m so lucky.

What is the most rewarding part of writing for you?
When readers tell me they enjoy my work. No doubt – that’s the best part. Writing is a way of understanding yourself and the world, but it’s also a way to connect with others. It’s kind of ironic that writers want our work to find readers, but during the actual writing we might be so deep into our own heads we wouldn’t notice a parade of readers going by the window. But once the book is done, I can get out of my head, rejoin the rest of the world, and have a life beyond the one my characters are living. Then, I can’t wait for people to read it. The main thing I want to do is entertain people, whatever entertainment means to each reader. When someone tells me my book entertained them, I’m buzzing off that for the next couple of days.

How did the idea for My Own Worst Frenemy come about?
I stole it from my life, but somehow it never occurred to me to do that until I was watching an episode of Veronica Mars. It’s a TV show about a girl in high school who starts solving crimes using the knowledge she’s gained from her father, a single dad and cop-turned-private detective. I had a light-bulb moment when it occurred to me that I was once in high school at the same time my single-mom was a cop and maybe I could write a character like Veronica. Like my main character, I also won a scholarship to a cushy private school way across town from my not-so-great neighborhood. Switching between those two worlds every day was slightly crazy-making. So Chanti and I have a lot in common, but she’s far more adventurous than I was. I wanted to solve crimes but didn’t have the nerve. I did give my mother my two cents on some of her cases. It was probably more like ten cents.

What was the most challenging part of writing this story?
I had a hard time deciding if I was writing a mystery or a thriller. A straight mystery usually has the crime happen at the beginning and the hero has to solve it. A thriller brings more urgency – a race against the clock to prevent some jeopardy for the hero or someone she cares about. Mystery grabs the reader’s brain, and they work alongside the hero trying to figure out whodunit. A thriller grabs the readers gut, and they sit on the edge of their seats hoping the hero figures it all out in time to save themselves or their loved one. I ended up writing a hybrid, which is great because I love both genres. I think people who know these things actually call it a mystery thriller. And then I added a dash of romance because I remember high school was made much more bearable by the presence of cute boys, even when they didn’t know I existed.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
My Own Worst Frenemy is the first book in the Langdon Prep series. The second book, Creeping With the Enemy, will be out in April 2012, and right now I’m working on a third book in the series. The title of that one won’t include any words that contain enemy.


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